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Boohoo float value likely to trump physical rivals’s decision to list on the stock market is expected to value the young fashion etailer higher than its bricks-and-mortar counterparts, with its continued expansion attractive to investors.

The business this week revealed it plans to float from the first quarter of next year and has hired adviser Zeus Capital. Zeus has already conducted test marketing with “cornerstone investors”, which a spokesman said was “well received”.

It is thought the etailer, which launched in 2006, is likely to list on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim), following in the footsteps of womenswear chain Bonmarché, which made its Aim debut this month. House of Fraser and online business The Hut Group are among retailers also planning to float next year.

Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: “Online clothing is one of the most under-represented areas on the market at the moment and there is a lot of demand for it. It’s nice to get some new names in the frame.”

Although he declined to estimate the valuation of Boohoo, Stevenson said it would be “much more than your other clothing retailers”, thanks to its international expansion and general growth.

In August the etailer announced it was recruiting 50 employees, taking its total headcount to 650. In the last year it launched into Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada

According to its most recent accounts, Boohoo grew pre-tax profits by 79% to £248,790 for the year to February 29, 2012, with sales up 18% to £29m.

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